FEAST!

OOF: what a weekend! (Or as Cicero was known to have said, “What a time! What a civilization!”) Didn’t think I’d hear myself saying this, but I’m looking forward to eating meals that aren’t predominantly starch + fat.

Of course, starch and fat are what T-Give is all about, and our dinner was in short supply of neither. The photos in this post were taken during the Feast Preparation Phase. Wednesday night, Alex and I stayed up late making food, he cooking stock and stuffing, I preparing my cran-orange relish and pumpkin pie. The best part? I made my own pie dough. That’s right: I didn’t let fear hold me back: oh no! Following Bittman’s recipe and receiving non-stop encouragement from Alex, I made the dough for my semifamous pumpkin pie. It wasn’t half bad; in fact, it was good. Just call me the little engine that could.

Full disclosure: I fell asleep before my pie fully cooled, so Alex covered it with foil, lest it be destroyed by fruit flies. All together now: awwwwwww! Three cheers for thoughtful, night-owl BFs.

Aside from the revelry and abundant friendship and general gorging, my favorite part of Thanksgiving is spending a long-ass time in the kitchen making dishes overlooked for most of the year. Corn bake is one such dish. Equal parts corn and high-fat dairy, the casserole is a surprising crowd-pleaser. Not too surprising — who doesn’t like butter and sour cream? — but mildly surprising. Let’s just say it’s something most restaurants here wouldn’t be caught dead offering (it’s one step beyond the acceptable level of provincialism), but its outcast status doesn’t negate its total deliciousness. I just ate my last slice of bake, and I shed an invisible tear at its disappearance. Until next year, trusty friend.

My favorite new recipe was the Gingerbread Cake from Bon Appetit. Baking in just 25 minutes, it’s a cinch to prepare, but lovely enough to serve to guests. In my scatterbrained haste, I forgot the lemon curd for the frosting, but no matter — I added extra lemon zest to the whipped cream and heard no complaints. Post-T-day, I stored the cake in the freezer to prevent the frosting from melting; the frozen variation of this dessert might be even better than the room-temperature version. If you’d care to participate in a taste test, you know where to find me. I have half a jar of leftover molasses, and I’d be happy to bake for any (or all) of you. My only requirements are a solid baking playlist and some decent pilsner; if you can provide these, you’ve got yourself a tasty cake.

I hope your Thanksgivings were as lovely as mine was: as filled with camaraderie, hijinks, and bacon-studded biscuits. Sad as I am to return to the realm of Everyday Food, I realize that Thanksgiving’s appeal derives from its infrequency. As much as I melt for stuffing, I’d tire of it if I ate it every day. In the case of simple carbohydrates, familiarity may well breed contempt.

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